Dealing with a temper tantrum

I have this beautiful, spunky, 3 year old wild one wonder who keeps me humble and on my toes.

She is sweet and funny, but she can throw a tantrum like nobody’s business. Just the other day we were in the living room and she asked for something. I told her no and offered other solutions, but she was set on what she wanted. When she couldn’t have the object of her desire, she flew herself on the floor and proceeded to cry and whine and roll around. I tried to comfort her, talk to her, reason with her, but she just kept saying…err…yelling, “I don’t want you!” What a punch to a mama heart to hear those words, over and over and over again.

I don’t want you.

That’s her way, when she doesn’t get what she wants, she goes for the kill.

I don’t want you.

I try and calm her, I try ignoring her (which makes her more crazy…and loud), I threaten discipline, and am prepared to deal it out, but as nothing is working I try something else.

I look at her as stern as possible and I say, “If you don’t stop fussing, I’m going to eat your toes.”

I say this in all seriousness.

She doesn’t know quite how to react. I can see the threat rolling over in her mind. She fusses some more, and I lean down and I say, “that’s it, those toes are mine.”

I begin to nibble on her toes. I exaggerate how good there are.

She giggles, but tries to fuss.

The giggling wins.

We laugh and I tickle her and chase her around, I swing her and then I play “This little piggy” on her toes and all of a sudden she forgot her fuss.

After a few minutes of giggling and play, we go on with our day. All is well.

My solution for dealing with a temper tantrum with my wild one (when it isn’t an issue of tiredness or hunger)? Play, chase, nibble, giggle, tickle.

I realize this solution might not work for every child because every child is different, but if you have a bit of a spunky tantrum-flinging babe, give this a try. It sure beats anger and exasperation. Instead of a punishment or action that would leave us all in tears, we end up in ball of laughter.

I like this, and I’ll take it.

Plus, her toes are pretty yummy!

Sarah Mae

Sarah Mae spends her days home-making, home-educating, writing, reading, and drinking salted caramel mochas. Her family embraces life in the beautiful Amish country-side of Pennsylvania. She is the owner of the community site Allume and the co-host of the national Christian women’s social media conference.